Welcome to the Coterie Retreat, MunaLuchi’s annual three day conference for wedding and event professionals servicing the multicultural market. Launched in 2014, the Coterie Retreat connects vendors with giants of the industry, to continue mastering the best practices of their craft. More than just your average conference, the Coterie Retreat is a complete experience, championing inclusion, diversity, and community within the multicultural wedding and events industry.
Following a highly successful 2017 Coterie Retreat in South Africa, the 2018 Coterie Retreat was hosted on the beautiful island of Bermuda, at the luxurious Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club. The iconic “pink palace” offers fine dining, stunning views, shopping, a full spa, plenty of relaxation, and displays numerous works of art by legendary artists – including Picasso, Matisse, Hockney, Warhol, Shepard Fairey, and Banksy to name a few.
From December 3-6, Retreat attendees enjoyed the finest in professional education through keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, breakout seminars, and curated events. View the 2018 Coterie Retreat Bermuda, Day 1 recap here.
Event Moderator Karli Harvey-Raymond kicked off day two with some opening remarks encapsulating the previous day while preparing everyone for what’s to come, before introducing speaker Liene Stevens. Author, Public Speaker, Behavioral Psychologist, and Founder of Think Splendid, a wedding business consulting firm that assists industry leaders in successfully profiting from their business, Liene spoke about profitable pricing strategies that will assist you in becoming a well-paid wedding pro.
Reinvention Strategist, Life Coach, Serial Entrepreneur, TV Personality, Creator of the Godfidence and founder of SHE Profits, Marshawn Evans Daniels, spoke in a lecture titled “Believe Bigger: Embracing Disruption to Unlock the Future.” Marshawn emphasized the importance of purpose, “the most valuable force on the planet,” and how to discover and wield your individual purpose, utilizing it to help you succeed in your pursuits, while finding a balance between the internal competing voices within us all. Marshawn followed with a signing of her latest book, Believe Bigger: Discover the Path to Your Life Purpose.
Tiffany Chalk, event planner extraordinaire, provided a lecture on Supercharging the Client Experience: Developing Systems to Help you Attract and Book the Right Clients. Known within the industry to be a master of space-transformation, Tiffany guided attendees on how to properly market a service, developing a system based on tried and true dictums such as “under promise and over deliver” and “you run yourself, not your client.”
MunaLuchi Director of Sales & Marketing, L. Nicole McKenzie, shifted the attendee mindset during her talk on the importance of self-care. In the pursuit of business success and client maintenance it is usually ourself that gets left behind. Without a healthy you there is no healthy business, so the importance of taking a step back to cater to our own needs can never be stressed enough. Nicole spoke to the difficult experiences of her life, and how those experiences negatively shaped her into the caretaker role of a people-pleaser, removing a sense of self and masking her own emotions. It wouldn’t be until she was faced with a condition that left her paralyzed that she was forced to truly begin focusing on her own needs, fighting her way back to mobility after nine months. Though her challenging journey to self-discovery didn’t end there, as a heart-attack would once again remind her of the importance of self-care. Her positivity and constant perseverance has molded her into the well-rounded and inspiring person she is today.
A panel discussion followed, on creating/sustaining a business and growing a team – guided by Event Moderator Karli Harvey-Raymond, and featuring panel speakers Jean Ralph Thurin, Akeshi Akinseye, Eddie Zaratsian, and Marc Wilson. The featured speakers touched based with their business roots, how they first began in the industry, and how that journey shaped who they are as professionals today and their current business practices. Some key quotes include; “I’m always competing with myself” – on reaching the new heights, from Marc Wilson; “I learned to listen to my passion” – on discovering her true professional path in life, from Akeshi Akinseye; “I’m a Dr., my nurse is preparing my patient. I want to know as much as I can before meeting in the office” – on using questionnaires and interviewing the clients to build a picture of who they are, from Eddie Zaratsian; “the JRT bride is confident and knows what she wants. She likes expensive things – and her dress has to be custom made for her body” – on the importance of knowing your who your clientele are, from Jean Ralph Thurin.
Nigerian-American actress, Yvonne Orji, known for her role as Molly in the HBO series Insecure, spoke during a “fire-side” chat on success and spirituality. Yvonne spoke about her journey to becoming a professional actress, family and cultural expectations on her career path, and the moment in which she first realized her talent as a performer following an impromptu five-minute comedy act.
Two much-anticipated breakout sessions rounded out the conference portion of the MunaLuchi Coterie Retreat, Day 2; A master makeup class with demo by celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine; and a photography seminar by celebrity photographer, director, and all-around visual artist Derek Blanks. Both top professionals offered demonstrations on how best to pursue their craft, how to get the most out of your materials, and indispensable tips and tricks for taking your beauty and photography projects to a new level.
The evening was completed with an unforgettable white-attire-themed party hosted at the gorgeous Coral Beach Tennis Club. Attendees enjoyed a wide variety of culinary options, covering all dietary needs with the most appetizing multicultural fusion and traditional dishes. A live band provided the evenings entertainment, along with a Gombey musical dance troupe demonstrating an inspiring performance of Caribbean culture dressed in full island regalia that had the entire Retreat on its feet.
Special thanks to the 2018 Coterie Retreat partner, Bermuda Tourism Authority!
Special thanks to Conference Planner Claire-Ann Raynor of Rose of Sharon Wedding & Event Planning!
Video by Yamean Studios Films
If you wish to be considered for membership to The Coterie, please complete this form or send an email with the information below to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We carefully handpick our vendors not just based on the number of years in business, but the quality of your work. So new businesses are welcome to apply. Just make sure your work is top-notch!
Looking to enhance your business practices and professional abilities during a three-day conference for wedding and event professionals of the multicultural market, all set within a gorgeous tropical escape? Register today for the 2019 MunaLuchi Coterie Retreat, hosted in beautiful Nassau, Bahamas. Early-bird pricing available until March 31st! Reserve your spot now before it fills up!